Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Teens

Parents can often face a unique challenge during their child’s teenage years. You may be looking for ways to help your teen cope with their adolescence in a healthy way. If your teen is experiencing mental health issues, one approach you may want to consider is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Understanding ACT

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Teens?

Acceptance and commitment therapy for teenagers is based on the idea that thoughts and feelings don’t have to control your behavior. Instead, teens can choose how to act, even if their thoughts and emotions are uncomfortable. This is different from cognitive behavioral therapy which focuses on recognizing negative thoughts and changing them. This kind of therapy can be a part of troubled teenager programs.

ACT for adolescents specifically helps them learn how to deal with the teenage years in a more productive way. The goal is to help teens accept the things they cannot change and commit to taking action in areas they can control.
Acceptance and commitment therapy can help with a variety of teen mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse.
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Family gathered around a laptop, smiling and engaging with each other, representing the inclusive approach of ACT for teens at Key Healthcare

ACT Benefits

Benefits of ACT for Teens

There are many benefits that acceptance and commitment therapy can bring for teens. One benefit is that it can help them learn to accept themselves for who they are. It can also help teens become more mindful of their thoughts and emotions, and learn to handle difficult situations. Lastly, ACT can help teens learn that negative experiences are a part of life but it’s how you respond to them that matters. This can help teens have a more positive outlook.

Principles of Teen ACT

6 Core Principles of Teen Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy is founded on six core principles that help teens develop psychological flexibility. These principles allow teens to focus on the big picture as they work through their emotions. The six core principles of ACT for teens are:
Teen engaging in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy sessions to foster psychological flexibility and mental well-being


This principle involves helping teens learn to accept the things they cannot change and rather look to things they can control.

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This principle helps teens learn to disassociate themselves from their thoughts. It helps them understand that thoughts are just thoughts and not facts.

Teenagers Embracing Positivity and Growth


This principle involves learning mindfulness techniques to help your teen focus on the present rather than worry about the future.

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This principle helps teens develop a more objective perspective of their thoughts and emotions, rather than judging them as good or bad.

A conceptual graphic representing a group of teens engaged in thoughtful discussion, highlighting the importance of communication in ACT therapy sessions


This principle helps your teen identify what is important to them and what they want to stand for in life. Then they can start making choices that align with these things.

Teen and caregiver discussing recovery, representing the supportive approach to alcohol addiction treatment


This principle helps your teen take action towards their goals. It involves setting plans and taking small steps to make progress.

Teen ACT by Key Healthcare

Teen Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Los Angeles, CA

Key Healthcare provides ACT for teenagers as a part of our teen treatment programs. Teens will participate in individual and teen group therapy sessions that utilize ACT to treat their mental health condition(s). In addition to our intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs, we also offer a comprehensive residential treatment program for teens. To learn more about our extended care programs, contact us today.

A family engaging in activities on the beach, representing the supportive and interactive therapy sessions in Key Healthcare's ACT program for teens.

Insurances We Accept

Up to 100% of the Costs Covered by Insurance

Key Healthcare works with a majority of health insurance providers and depending on your plan, 100% of the costs may be covered. Verify your insurance to get more information about your coverage.
Teen Treatment

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